April 22, 2008

Book Review - Mastering Alliance Strategy

Mastering Alliance Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide to Design, Management and Organization
James D. Bamford, Benjamin Gomes-Casseres, and Michael S. Robinson
HD 69 .S8 B36 2003

Successful executives know that developing networks and personal contacts enables them to gather information that improves their professional decision-making. These authors argue that successful business alliances similarly help organizations to share costs and achieve greater rewards than either could working alone. This book explains that the competitive advantage of business alliances is dependent on the "deal" that is struck between the two companies as well as the strategies at work within the companies that carry it out. Organized as a guide to putting this concept to work, the authors first discuss how to design new alliances, discussing both the strategy involved in choosing partners as well as suggestions on how the formal agreement should be crafted. Next, the authors discuss managing the alliance. Here they provide ideas about how to work together, the role of leadership within the alliance, and when and how to end partnerships. Third, competitions within and between partnerships are discussed extensively, as the authors see this as one of the most threatening relationships relating to alliances. Finally, the authors address how to build the capability for additional alliances. These chapters draw heavily on case studies of companies who have used alliance strategies successfully.